3 months into my annual vegetable garden and I have so much to report. For the most part things have been going better than expected. My tomatoes are flourishing, the pepper plants look strong, and my new-this-year kale is lushly filling in the gaps. The biggest news of all is that I have FINALLY mastered the art of growing cucumbers.
I’m not sure I can express what an accomplishment this is for me. I have been obsessing over these cucumber plants since the day they were planted, and when the fruit finally passed the miniature phase where they normally turn yellow and fall off, I was, beyond ecstatic. It’s kind of embarrassing now that I think back, but I know my friends love me even if I do nerd out over cucumbers every so often.
I moved my cucumber plants to 2 new locations from prior years, and both plants are producing large, delicious cucumbers. One plant is definitely doing better than the other, but I’ve already harvested a total of 5 cucumbers.
My zucchini and yellow squash plants have been struggling a bit just like last year. The mornings have been very damp and cool which is encouraging powdery mildew despite my new watering system, and aphids have been rampant as per usual. One major game changer I discovered this year was ordering live ladybugs online. I’ve had to order them 3 times since I can’t quite figure out how to get them to stick around after they devour all the aphids, but it’s worth it because they do eat all the aphids in a single day. I’ve also planted some lemon balm nearby to help with pest control.
Recently I mixed some gypsum into the soil of the squash bed to increase the calcium levels, and hopefully help the fruits grow larger. I’ll let you know how that goes in a few weeks.
My biggest failure this year has been my pea plants. They grew fast and furious right out of the gate, but developed fusarium wilt which is characterized by the bottom of the plant turning yellow. I was able to harvest only a few peas before I was forced to pull all the plants from the ground. I recently planted some lettuce in their place in hopes that it will be more tolerant of the area. Again, we’ll see……..
Throughout all my garden adventures, my Oxo gardening tools have been right by my side. I use the garden scissors pretty much every day to snip herbs for my meals each night, but the bypass pruners have been getting a workout too as I use those to harvest my cucumbers and tomatoes. Also valuable to my gardening success are the cultivator, adjustable hand rake, and super convenient pour and store watering can.
Great news for all my fellow garden nerds out there; Oxo is giving away THREE complete sets of all their gardening tools to help you all achieve garden nirvana this summer. Click on the widget below to enter for your chance to win. In the meantime, tweet, Facebook, comment, Instagram, Google plus me etc. and tell me what you’re growing, and what you’re struggling with in your garden this summer and use the hashtag #SproutTime to get in the conversation.